Employee-monitoring is a phrase that generates discomfort. It sounds very Orwellian, or as if you’ll have all sorts of cameras on your people as if they’re in a reality TV show. When thinking of installing software on work computers, consider both pros and cons.
The pandemic sent many people home to work. Businesses that were reluctant to support hybrid and remote workers had to do so. But the concern about whether people are actually working remained.
Many IT departments answered by installing software on employees’ computers. Remote monitoring can track keyboard and mouse activity, websites visited, and app usage.
It’s the best of both worlds, right? The business gets increased productivity and improved employee morale through remote work. Plus, the software allows you to keep an eye on the off-premises work environment.
Your employees may not agree, however, and that’s only one of the considerations when deciding whether to monitor people working off-site.
Pros of employee-monitoring
Employee-monitoring allows you to see what people are doing during work hours. This helps management to identify time-wasters. Additionally, letting employees know that you’re watching can cut their time wasting.
Not all time-wasting is intentional either. So, this software can help you to see that certain tools or processes are eating up too much employee time. You can identify where new technology is needed, or put new processes in place to simplify workflow.
Monitoring employee time can also make client billing simpler. Add transparency with data about how long each individual works on a certain project.
Cons of employee-monitoring
Trust is a key component of employee engagement. Employees who feel trusted are likely happier and more willing to go above and beyond. Employee-monitoring can jeopardize the employee–employer bond. In fact, you may even lose employees who would rather work elsewhere than be monitored.
At the same time, you may be monitoring activity without gauging whether they are working. You can put software on their devices, but that won’t track everything. They could be using their brains for your business in some other important yet offline way.
You also run the risk of legal ramifications. Employee consent may be required to install the software on personal computers. You’d also want to let employees know if you’re monitoring them through the camera on their work devices.
Making the monitoring-employees decision
Monitoring often prompts employee concerns for their privacy and complaints about disrespect. Still, it may prove worthwhile for your business. If you do take the decision to install remote monitoring software, do so carefully. You should have clear goals for the software and communicate these to your employees. This lets them know how you will use this monitoring tool and what you will do with the information.
Looking to install remote-monitoring software for your business? Contact our IT experts at (515)422-1995. We can help you decide on goals, select the software, and implement a plan that works for you.